Australia’s Melbourne Back in Lockdown After Spike in Coronavirus Cases

City of Melbourne.

In Lockdown: City of Melbourne. Credit: Pixabay

Around 36 neighbourhoods in Melbourne are back in lockdown, in a bid to curb a spike in local coronavirus cases.

“AS of midnight Wednesday, quarantine will be imposed on 320,000 people,” stated Victoria’s state prime minister Daniel Andrews on Tuesday at a press conference. “Residents in these neighbourhoods must stay home unless they travel for work, school, health care, exercise or food for a period of four weeks.” Residents in identified postcodes will return to Stage 3 restrictions until at least July 29 and will not be allowed to leave their homes unless it is for the four reasons permitted under ‘the Chief Health Officer’s directives.’

Police will also patrol the soon-to-be-sealed-off areas with checkpoints to keep a close eye on who is coming in and out. Those without a good reason may be slapped with hefty fines. The spike in cases has also prompted the Victorian premier to launch an official inquiry into the state’s hotel quarantine regime, especially given that 50 of the new Covid-19 cases have come from hotel staff who breached infection control protocols. It’s believed the hotel employees caught the virus and brought it home with them, which started the community transmission. The Melbourne lockdown has forced all international flights heading to the city to be diverted for the next two weeks. International passengers on all flights will still be forced into 14 days hotel quarantine, and only citizens and permanent residents are allowed in.

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Pepi Sappal

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